Do visitors from the distant future or ancient history walk among us? Have they been given the ability to leap through time thanks to technologies not yet invented or magic spells long since forgotten? While the rest of us are still tethered to this plane, we can still escape the dreadful sirens and the headlines when we need to. Dreams are our doorways; imaginations our guides; literature, art and music our propulsion.
When you listen to the dark, haunting and mesmerizing songs of The Dreaming Society, you might be surprised to discover they hail from one of the sunniest places on Earth. But then again, it makes perfect sense. Los Angeles is the land where the dreams of a few come true while the dreams of many more are crushed. Hope, conflict, triumph, devastation, yearning and loss are all prevalent themes on The Dreaming Society’s 2012 self-titled album (below).
The track “Follow Me Into Forever” looks at death as a similar gateway to time travel. Instead of a final separation, it is merely a transition by one party into the unknown. If both souls hold onto their memories, they will somehow, someway be reunited again. Another track, “The Alchemist”, sees chemistry as the essential ingredient to love’s immortality, when mixed with fire of course. (Sample any tracks here.)
While The Dreaming Society is just starting to make its own rock and roll dreams come true, the band’s very existence is rooted in the fairy tale ending of a romance starring singer Shelah Kelso and guitarist Karl Strauss. Shelah was a single mother, balancing daycare with auditions and jobs to pay the rent. Karl was a mastering the mighty axe, looking for the right time and place to unleash its fury. Both were dreaming about manifesting love, creating art and connecting with kindred spirits.
The band’s original name, The Patchwork Quilt Fallacy, sounds like a steampunk contraption, but it actually implies the way people can see different truths based upon the information they have pieced together.
During a discussion about creativity with Steve Sherwood, a professor at Los Angeles Valley College and UCLA, he told Shelah “I think in many ways that we are a dreaming (if not always dreamy) society.” He was talking about much more than a white-knuckle ride towards fame and fortune. Every building that rises above the smog, every bridge that arches over dug waterways, every product and every possession that is clutched by every person in the city, is the manifestation of someone’s dream.
Shelah suddenly had a new name for her band.
When the new album was completed, Shelah was inspired to place a fairy on the cover, for fairies are the light that guides us through the darkness towards the fulfillment of our dreams. She discovered Italian photo manipulation artist Elena Dudina and immediately fell in love with the image that became their album cover.